Category Archives: Guidance
My apologies for not blogging for a while. I have been very poorly with a chest infection and virus and not had the strength to even write. As a writer, it has been very difficult for me not to be able to practice my craft for a while .
Even though I am still not 100% better, I felt I had to share this inspirational blog post about turning your hobby into a business, courtesy of Carolyn Trafford from reflectionscoachingblog.wordpress.com
I am turning my writing website quirkybooks.net into an e-Book store later this year. Amongst the books available, will be ones to help you to get back into work. If I can turn my passion into my dream job, then so can you.
Now that we have settled into the new year, you will probably have noticed a lot of posts about goal setting and how you need to take action in order to move forward with your life. These posts are an invaluable source of information and inspiration and they are absolutely right, if you want to achieve your desired outcome, you need to take the steps to get there by setting goals and then acting on them but in the next few posts I want us to take a look at what may be holding you back from setting goals in the first place.
Sometimes in order for you to move forward you must reflect on the past and assess the present to see what changes need to be made. If you keep doing the same thing then you will always get the same result. If you are not happy with the result then you need to change what you are doing and there is no time like the present, so what are you waiting for?
Let’s consider some of the things that may be holding you back.
Not having the right skills or experience
There is no easy way to say this, if you haven’t got the right skills and experience for the job role that you desire, in these difficult economic times, you need to either obtain them or learn to convert previous experience and learnt skills into transferable experience and skills and if you can’t do that then you probably won’t get a look in because the competition is so tough.
Do not be fooled by a job advert that states: “Previous experience is not essential as full training will be given for the right candidate.”
If the interviewer can get a person with previous experience who has the correct basic skills, the right attitude for the job and is the right fit for the team, then they will go with them instead of someone with little or no experience. When I was a retail manager I recruited my own staff and I advertised for the experience and skills that I required and yes I still got applicants applying with little or no relevant experience and as time is money in business, usually I would sift theses applications out on first look as I had a large number of applicants. Of the applicants that were sifted out there may have been some that had the right attitude or were a good fit for the team but because I didn’t put them through to the interview stage I would never know this, so having the right skills and experience is essential.
When I wasn’t working, on the odd occasion I would apply for a job that was out of my sector and one that I had little or no relevant skills or experience in, just as I thought, I would get a reject letter or worse, nothing at all. Upon analysis, the reason I got a rejection letter was because I appeared on paper to have some of the skills and experience that were relative to the job and some transferable skills but obviously not as good a offering as someone who blatantly had the skills and experience in that sector and therefore I wasn’t surprised I was rejected and took it on the chin. When I received no reply whatsoever, it was because on paper there were barely any skills and experience relevant to the role for which I had applied, so why should the employer bother to reply to me when it looked like I had randomly decided to ‘give it a go’. An employer wouldn’t like this attitude and to be honest neither do I and when I became a manager I understood that and if I were to apply for a job now I would always tailor my CV and Cover Letter to the Job specification and that’s why I get responses when a lot of other people don’t, so if you are struggling to get responses, now you know the secret, why not try it for yourself?
If you want to gain the skills and experience to get a job you desire, you need to do voluntary work, work experience and you may need to take a course as well.
To read about what else may be holding you back be sure to read the next post, until then, whatever you do, stay positive.
When I was made redundant for the first time in 2002, it felt like the rug had been pulled from underneath my feet, bewildered, disappointed and shocked, I didn’t know how I was going to cope. I hadn’t been made redundant before and I didn’t know anyone else who had.
The second time was a different story, in 2009, much like today, it was during one of the worst economic climates and there were many others I knew and subsequently spoke to, that had been put in the same position. To speak to and be around people who understood how I was feeling, who had the same worries, the same fears and the same anxieties, really helped me to not feel so alone. I also found the following, was a good antidote, to help beat redundancy blues.
- In a state of panic, don’t just plunge back into the next available job, take some time out, to calm down and to reflect on was has happened to you.
- Go with what you are feeling. Don’t suppress the emotions but rather let yourself feel them and deal with them in a constructive way.
- Speak to family and friends to get their support.
- Do not carry on and pretend that nothing has happened. The sooner you face up to the situation, the sooner you can deal with it and move on.
- You need to recognise that you are grieving for your loss. Sure it is not a person that you are losing but a job is a huge part of your life and to have it taken away from you, unless you dislike the job, is often incredibly devastating.
- If you are feeling depressed and finding it hard to cope, then consider counselling. It can help you work through your grief and get you back into work quicker. Unless you are good at hiding your depression, a person who is blatantly depressed, will not score brownie points in an interview and you will be doing yourself a disfavour by trying to do something you are not ready for. We all need to take our own time to heal.
- Do things which make you feel good about yourself, if you can afford to, take a short break, socialize, be around people who make you feel good and help to get you out of your own head that is probably spinning with all sorts of thoughts, causing you confusion and to feel out of control. The sooner you start to feel in control, the sooner you will feel better.
- When you are feeling calmer and more in control, you need to think about what job you would like to do next. In order to do this in a beneficial way, you need to think about what you liked and disliked about your last job and your previous roles. Answer the following questions:
- Do you prefer to work on your own or as part of a team?
- Are you a problem solver or do you prefer someone else to do this for you?
- Do you find it easy to communicate with staff? With Colleagues? With Customers?
- Do you prefer to lead or to follow?
- Do you prefer to be guided or to use your own initiative?
- Do you enjoy talking or being quiet?
- What environment do you feel most comfortable in?
- Do you like working in a structured way or prefer a more relaxed approach?
- Are you a person who likes to do things and be active or do you prefer to be an observer?
- Do you enjoy working with figures?
- Do you like socializing with people from work or do you want to do your job and just go home?
- Are you flexible over hours that you can work?
- How much money do you need to live on?
- What is your dream job?
- Could you turn any hobbies into a career?
- What job could you realistically do?
- Do you lack certain skills needed for a new job? If so, what can you do about it?
9. When you start asking yourself these questions, you start looking to the future, now don’t look back. Keep looking forward and focus on that.
10. As always. Stay positive and keep smiling.
- Recruiters all chasing the perfect candidate: someone who has recently been made redundant (news.efinancialcareers.com)
- Redundancy – 2 common responses and how to deal with them. (reflectionscoachingblog.wordpress.com)
You are probably waiting to read the A-Z of Redundancy that is coming soon but in the meantime I wanted to share with you something that happened today.
I got invited to take a tour of St Loye’s Foundation in Exeter. That is essentially an education establishment for people with disabilities, or to use the correct terminology, the less-abled or differently-abled. Their website address is: http://www.stloyesfoundation.org.uk This year they are celebrating their 75th Anniversary of being a national charity with the aim of getting people into employment.
Their mission: “With our range of services, we support people with physical or mental health conditions and disabilities into lasting employment.”
I was given a tour of the Foundation by Community Fundraiser Phil Roberts. The building was light and airy and well equipped to meet training needs, with one computer per person and a lot of them. Spread over two floors the foundation offers a number of in-house courses to 18 years and over, that include:
- Horticulture and Land based Skills
- Hospitality and Catering
- Microsoft IT Academy
- Health and Safety in the Workplace
- Business Skills
- Computer Aided Design (CAD)
- Health and Social Care
- Food Hygiene
And the best thing is, they will put you up in residential accommodation if you don’t live in Exeter and want to attend a course. That is subject to proof that you have got a disability and DWP terms and conditions. I would advise you to contact your local Disability Employment Advisor at your local Jobcentre Plus to discuss your options and eligibility and you can speak directly to St Loye’s Employment Team by phoning 01392 255428 to find out more about the courses.
Their address is: St Loye’s Foundation, Brittany House, New North Road, Exeter EX4 4EP.
Every person that I was introduced to at St Loye’s, made me feel welcome and at ease. The tutors were on hand to give one-to-one support with courses such as Business Administration and CAD design and I got the feeling that it was a place where people could feel comfortable and supported in their training and respected as an individual.
Some exciting news – Soon they will be offering courses to people who are vulnerable but don’t necessarily have a disability. This means that if you are unemployed, over 19 years and claiming JSA, you will be able to take advantage of a number of training courses for free that you will find hard to get for free elsewhere in Exeter and that you may find hard to get at that level for free in the South West. For example, I have been told by an employee that they will be offering ECDL Levels, 1, 2 and 3. So log on to their website again in a few weeks time to gain access to courses for updating your skills or training for a new career. http://www.stloyesfoundation.org.uk
Remember, stay positive.
Together we can beat redundancy blues.